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Digital nomads: Who can work remotely in Austria?

The Covid-19 pandemic ushered in a new era of remote work opportunities, but being a digital nomad is still a legal grey area in some countries. Here’s how it works in Austria.

Digital nomads: Who can work remotely in Austria?
What are the rules for digital nomads in Austria? (Photo by Canva Studio / Pexels).

Travelling the world as a digital nomad is a dream come true for many and Austria is a prime location for those that want to explore the mountains or spend time in historic Vienna. 

But the lifestyle of a digital nomad is not always as free as people expect – especially when it comes to visas, taxes and health insurance.

Here’s what you need to know about working remotely in Austria.

READ MORE: How can British second home owners spend more than 90 days in Austria?

Does Austria have a digital nomad visa?

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries have jumped on the remote work bandwagon and are offering eligible people a digital nomad visa for a set amount of time (usually one year or more).

Unfortunately, Austria is not one of those countries.

But that doesn’t mean Austria is completely out of bounds. Instead it just means knowing the different immigration rules for EU and non-EU citizens when it comes to spending time in the Alpine Republic.

What are the rules for EU citizens?

Citizens of EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries can stay in Austria for up to three months (90 days) without having to register as a resident.

For stays of more than three months, you have to be employed, self-employed, a student at a recognised educational institution or have enough money to support yourself financially.

In theory, this means someone from France or Italy can relocate to Austria for several months (or years) to live and work – as long as they follow the rules related to proof of residence, health insurance and tax.

For example, anyone that wants to live in Austria for more than three months is required to officially register their address. This is known as the Meldebestätigung (proof of residence) and is required to get the official registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinugung).

READ MORE: Anmeldebescheinigung: How to get Austria’s crucial residence document

Then there is health insurance, which is compulsory for all legal residents in Austria. 

If you work for an employer, this is organised automatically through the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse (ÖGK). For those that are self-employed, health insurance is provided through the Sozialversicherungsanstalt der Selbständigen (SVS).

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) does provide some cover but not all medical visits, so self-supporting people in Austria have to find private health insurance to ensure they won’t be a burden on the Austrian medical system.

Taxes should also be considered by any EU citizens thinking about relocating to Austria to work remotely as this is where it can get complicated without a dedicated digital nomad visa.

In Austria, you will be considered a tax resident if you spend more than 180 days per year in the country.

Depending on the rules of your country of residence, this could impact where you are liable to pay tax on income and is something to keep in mind when planning to relocate to Austria on a temporary basis.

What are the rules for non-EU citizens?

Like EU and EEA citizens, some third-country nationals can stay in Austria for up to 90 days out of every 180 days as a tourist. These countries include the US and the UK.

The 90-day rule applies to the entire Schengen Area though, so if you spend 90 days in Austria you can’t then jump over the border to spend another 90 days in Germany. Instead, you will have to leave the Schengen Area if you do not have a valid visa.

FOR MEMBERS: Austria vs Germany: Which country is better to move to?

For people that want to stay in Austria for longer than 90 days there is the option to apply for Visa D, which allows third-country nationals to stay in the country for up to six months as a visitor (or up to 12 months in exceptional circumstances). This visa has to be applied for in your country of residence before arriving in Austria.

However, as there is not a dedicated digital nomad visa in Austria (as already mentioned above), working in Austria remotely as a third-country national with a tourist visa or Visa D is not legal.

Instead, a long-term visa option is to apply for a self employed key worker visa. This immigration route is essentially an investor visa and involves a minimum investment of €100,000 into a business, the creation of new jobs and proof that the business will have an impact on the region.

For most digital nomads, this is financially out of reach and not in keeping with the digital nomad lifestyle.

So for most non-EU citizens, it is possible to stay in Austria for up to six months as a tourist. But for anything longer – or to work legally in Austria – it means giving up the digital nomad lifestyle and committing to living in Austria on a more permanent basis.

This article was updated on May 9th 2022 to clarify that working remotely while in Austria as a tourist is not legal.

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LIVING IN AUSTRIA

What are Austria’s last posting dates for Christmas 2022?

Planning to send Christmas presents back home this year? Here are the dates you need to know when using the Austrian postal service.

What are Austria's last posting dates for Christmas 2022?

Christmas can creep up fast, but with a little preparation you can make sure Christmas cards and gifts make it to friends and family in time for Christmas.

However, there are different dates to be aware of, depending on whether items are being posted within Austria or abroad.

Here’s what you need to know.

READ ALSO: 8 things to know if you’re visiting Austria in December

Last posting dates in Austria

Austria Post’s Team Christkind will be working overtime in the coming weeks to deliver around one million parcels every day.

If sending a letter or Christmas card, here are the last posting dates.

  • Within Austria: December 21 for priority shipping or December 19 for economy.
  • Within Europe: December 16 (priority), December 12 (economy).
  • Worldwide: December 12 (priority), December 8 (economy).

These are the last posting dates for sending a parcel.

  • Within Austria: December 21 for standard shipping and December 22 for Post Express.
  • Within Europe: December 16 (standard), December 21 (Post Express).
  • Worldwide: December 14 (standard), December 15 (Post Express).

READ MORE: IN PICTURES: A guide to the main Christmas Markets in Austria

Post office opening dates

In the week leading up to Christmas, there will be slightly different opening times at Austria Post.

From Monday December 19 to Thursday December 22, post offices will be open from 8am to 6pm.

On Friday December 23, the opening times will be 8am to 7pm. The exact opening times of your nearest Austria Post branch can be found here.

Austria Post aims to deliver parcels up until 12pm on December 24. 

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